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Posts tagged ‘emotions’

Draw on personal pain to write believable characters

I started reading a new paranormal novel last month that I had high hopes for based on how quickly and easily the first few chapters hooked me. The plot was refreshing, unique, and action-filled from the beginning. Interesting, quirky characters reeled me in. But it quickly went downhill from there.

I’m the type of reader who usually doesn’t give up on a book. I always have faith that the author will pull out of the temporary bog and finish, if not strong, at least well. I have only given up on two books in my life. My new paranormal novel was the third.

What went wrong? Read more

Masters of emotion: five books that show how to convey character emotions

Recently, I wrote a post about character emotions and how to write about the body. Below are five books from my reading library that show different ways of conveying character emotions:

1. Bastard out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison. Note her use of specific detail, imagery, and metaphor to show bodily feelings and her characters’ emotions.

2. The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Notice how his spare language conveys the post-apocalyptic world of his setting and characters.

3. Elegy for Iris by John Bayley. The author writes about his wife Iris Murdoch, a well-known author, and her decent into Alzheimer’s disease. Notice the way he describes both her emotional state and his own through specific details.

4. Road Dogs by Elmore Leonard. Notice how the characters’ dialogue so effectively conveys their emotions and shows us who they are.

5. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende. Allende is a passionate Chilean writer. Notice how her passion underlies every sentence of her work and how it pulls you into the story.

I hope you enjoy these! Please share some of your favorite books that are good examples of how to describe character emotions.